30 November 2009

From an Atlas of the Difficult World by Adrienne Rich

I know you are reading this poem
late, before leaving your office
of the one intense yellow lamp-spot and the darkening window
in the lassitude of a building faded to quiet
long after rush-hour. I know you are reading this poem
standing up in a bookstore far from the ocean
on a grey day of early spring, faint flakes driven
across the plains' enormous spaces around you.
I know you are reading this poem
in a room where too much has happened for you to bear
where the bedclothes lie in stagnant coils on the bed
and the open valise speaks of flight
but you cannot leave yet. I know you are reading this poem
as the underground train loses momentum and before running
up the stairs
toward a new kind of love
your life has never allowed.
I know you are reading this poem by the light
of the television screen where soundless images jerk and slide
while you wait for the newscast from the intifada.
I know you are reading this poem in a waiting-room
of eyes met and unmeeting, of identity with strangers.
I know you are reading this poem by fluorescent light
in the boredom and fatigue of the young who are counted out,
count themselves out, at too early an age. I know
you are reading this poem through your failing sight, the thick
lens enlarging these letters beyond all meaning yet you read on
because even the alphabet is precious.
I know you are reading this poem as you pace beside the stove
warming milk, a crying child on your shoulder, a book in your
because life is short and you too are thirsty.
I know you are reading this poem which is not in your language
guessing at some words while others keep you reading
and I want to know which words they are.
I know you are reading this poem listening for something, torn
between bitterness and hope
turning back once again to the task you cannot refuse.
I know you are reading this poem because there is nothing else
left to read
there where you have landed, stripped as you are.

24 November 2009

"Closer to Nowhere" by Jen Foster

Do you know who you are?
Do you ever think about it?
If you were told it`s a place
Would you drive until you found it?

Or would you turn down a street
That you know would lead to where you were before?
You call it home, but are you really sure
That`s your home?

Do you know what you want?
Have you ever reconsidered
What a trip we are on
And it`s the only ride we`re given?

If you could fly, would you try?
Would your feet stay firmly planted on the ground?
Can you explain why the only place you go
Is to waste?

Now you go to work and you work all day
You smoke and bitch on your coffee break
You tell some jokes to kill that time
Til the boss comes back and at the stroke of 5
You hit those bars, you have some drinks
You drown in all your long lost dreams
Oh no, you`re closer to nowhere

Do you know who you love?
Can you say those words with feeling?
Or when you look in those eyes
Is there someone else you`re seeing?

Do you dream of a day
You could take the love without running away?
What is it now? Do you need a little space?
Or are you wanting out?

Now you go to work and you work all day
You smoke and bitch on your coffee break
You grab that phone, rehearse those lines
Then you call home sayin` you gotta work tonight
You hit those bars, you buy some drinks
For the first one who looks good and thinks you`re cool
You`re closer to nowhere...

You fake it so well
Nobody can tell
You buy what they sell
You`re going places....

Now you go to work and you work all day
You smoke and bitch on your coffee break
You share your plans and you swear you`ll quit
Maybe next year or the year after it
You hit those bars, you have some drinks
You take those pills, you go to sleep
You wake up someday all alone
You realize another year is gone
You`re closer to nowhere

And all these signs will be your guides
But you must pay attention
And all the lights that line the sides
Are beautiful, don`t miss them...

You`re closer to nowhere...


Can you see me?
Over here.
Right here.

But for you,
it is there.

And nothing matters
but here.

(I hear in my mind all of this music, and it breaks my heart)

You're dreaming my life
or maybe it's just
living my dream

But if God exists,
I'd just be a figment
of her imagination

What else is reality
but a stream of words?
of thoughts, of meaning

(If God exists)
She spake, thought,
brought us into
we're all probably
burrowed up in her brain

Her eyes stare through
Casiopia's brow
because heaven
surely doesn't lie
through Orion's belt
if God is a woman.

Then again,
if God were a woman
and she was dreaming my life
and your life
and the lives
of humanity

Well, someone surely
should wake her
from that awful

23 November 2009

Oh Platteville.

I could never (again) live in a small town. I'm at my parent's house for Thanksgiving break and want to scream.

The only coffee shop around closes each evening at 5 p.m. and isn't open on Sundays. Also, everyone (from the college age boy in head-to-toe camo (who isn't out hunting by the way, apparently it's just the fashion)to the couple in the everyone-has-one pickup truck) act like they've never seen a girl with short hair before.

Not that Lincoln is a big city. It just doesn't shut down completely on Sundays and contains a bit of variety.

On the other hand, it's fantastic being off campus. I'm so sick of being known and knowing people at Union College. Beyond a few friends I've stayed in touch with, nobody knows me in Platteville. It's awesome. It reminds me of this summer in Lincoln, except that I'm not making a ton of random friends right now--just soaking in the anonymity.

I wouldn't mind the lack of new faces at Union College maybe if there were actually interesting ones to meet. A few weeks ago I started researching other (public) universities before I again resigned myself to staying at Union. Next year is my senior year, and it would be fiscally irresponsible to transfer.

Maybe if I had time to go downtown--go to shows, meet people who think about more than what Adventist job they want to wind up with--I wouldn't consider life so lackluster.

I feel like I've blogged about this before. Maybe I did. I don't know.

There are a lot of "I don't knows" lately. For instance, what will I do this summer if I can't go to Europe? The only way I can even consider going backpacking this summer is if I get into MDS studies before then. Maybe I could go backpacking for a month in the US/Canada and make it work financially? But that's not what I want. I want Europe, dangit. So, if I don't get to go to Europe where will I go?

I really want to move to some city where I don't know anyone (or just a couple of people at most). I'm aching for adventure and new ideas wearing new faces. Ashville? Back to Madison, but this time on the other side of town? Colorado? That place in Arizona (or New Mexico) I can't remember, but sounded cool? San Fran? Stay in Lincoln and get a job at Hudson Bay?

And what about me and Chelsi this summer? If we're not in the same city, what do I say? And if we are...do I want to be? (not that I don't like her, because obviously I do).

Of course, summer is a long way from now. I've got time, at least in that department. Maybe in the meantime I just need to get off campus more often and re-connect with summer friends (or make new ones).

16 November 2009

Tiny Hands

There are hands caressing me
Shouts of ecstasy
Like a thousand
Quiet symbols
Breaking the silence
And I scream
My voice joining the chorus
Of a million other women
Feeling this same feeling
Feeling like this moment
Will last a lifetime

Because it does.
And oh god those hands
Cause me to pause
I’ve heard that when you take a lover
What’s mine is yours
But I know his hands will never be mine
But neither will mine—can I call them that?

I remember when the promise of a sparkling city
drove the dust of a childhood hometown
out of my eyes
and my future was clean, bright,
until the day I arrived
and met it.

See they told me in the city I’d find a wonderful job
With money falling from the sky
I could send it home to my parents
Who needed food more than
They needed one more daughter.

At first the work was torture
because I refused to cave
electric shocks
traveling my body
until I gave up
gave up my body

and then I met the men
some days it’s only 25
that touch me
fuck me
and some days its 40

and everyday they are old
but I am older
with words
that begin with nostalgia

“back in my day life was beautiful”

Except, back when I was six years old
And my presentday-owners were planning
On which little ones to
Steal, cajole, convince or simply purchase
Life was not beautiful
Because these rooms were already filled
with Nepalis girl
Just like me.

Sometimes I wonder what could happen
If I owned my own hands
What sort of difference I could make

But I am just another twelve-year-old sex slave.
These body parts do not belong to me.
I do not belong to me.

I stop feeling
When I realize nobody
knows I exist
Or cares.
Why do they study slavery in history when it still exists?
When it’s not the south in America, it’s the entire world
But India is not
And I am just one of millions

Today melds with tomorrow
Like his hands on my body
Caressing me,
Each touch more violent than the last.

I have tiny hands
But not as small
As the seven year old who
May replace me
When disease has stolen my body
Away from my owners
And thirty is the age on the tombstone
Nobody will erect.
Because it erects itself
He is my tombstone
But can’t you understand
That when you watch
With apathetic eyes
Each moment you’re hands
Lay passively at their sides
You throw more dirt on my grave

And when you make no effort
to release me from the cage I am kept in--a literal cage
with bars I’ve learned to breath through

You are the difference between saving
One girl at a time
And slaving one girl at a time

But it’s not just one girl
It’s me.
My name is Asha.
I have name.
And it is the only thing that is mine.


To learn more, visit the website of Tiny Hands International (a Lincoln-based organization dedicated to stopping human trafficking--one girl at a time)

title goes here (but you do not)

(for me: perhaps five
for them: perhaps five.

does that make everything
five by five?
No, it just makes it all a lie.)

I am not a poet
or a muse

yet I wonder at amusement
and the way our bodies serve
to park or drive

and what would happen if
libido disappeared
before it was conceived;
would any of us have

to the top of heaven
in a golden chariot
made from sallow, starved flesh
(if only for touch
if only for hope)
of another human being
we found lovely in the waning light

Do lovers ever realize?
I've read words
scribed between the inches of skin
exposed like eyes

against the burst of winter winds

Or maybe
just a Writers Cafe
that remains static
like our friendship
(if only that word
existed outside of our vocabulary
because then it wouldn't exist,
he moaned)
or maybe just Facebook messages
about creeping into dreams.

Do lovers ever realize?
I've written words too.
none of us
(I could say neither but I speak
for you too)
none of us
are muses,
except perhaps

Unfulfilled Desire
(I hear she's dreadfully inspiring)

15 November 2009

How average is your life?

I just saw this on MLIA.

"Today, I was looking through the bumper stickers application on Facebook and I came across this sticker that said "if Pinocchio said his nose was about to grow, what would happen?" This was by far the most fascinating thing I've read all year. MLIA."

I would have to agree with the poster. And what would happen?


"The other day I learned that if you say 'beer can' with an English accent, you're saying 'bacon' with a Jamaican accent. Mind blown. MLIA."

My day just keeps getting better.

12 November 2009

More for Me by Tegan and Sara

Had a bad day
As bad as they come
Time to get a real job
You gotta stop having fun
So I got a real job
I'm working nine to nine
I'm making five bucks an hour
'til the day I die
Got a straw inside of me
And it's filled just fine
Got a straw inside of me
With the strongest wine
Well I'm one third passion
And I'm two thirds pride
Said I used to have a life once
He said I used to like your smile once
Singing silence to the world
But the stars kept marching
He said silence to everyone
I said I'm still talking
Have you got some more deep inside of you
I'll always have more for me
I take a little more for me baby
I got a picture of the way
The world has summed me up
If I could have one wish
I sure wish that I had never grown up
I got a picture of the way I looked
When I was three
I came out laughing screaming dancing
I used to be free spirited
Now I'm just free of sleep
I got a burning passion in my throat
I got a burning passion inside me
I got a job that wastes my time and gift
I got a life that needs a serious lift
And all the things I wanted
Yes all the things I want
Go on and on and on and on
On and on and on and on
Well I go on
Silence to the world
But the stars keep marching
Silence to everyone
But I kept talking
Have you got some more deep inside of you
Yes I'll always have more more me
He says all the things I want they go
So I, I take a little more for me

08 November 2009

Tell me, what are you afraid of?

For years I've had a very...strong aversion to wrists (the inner part). I hate even typing the word. It wasn't until last year in Intro to Psych that I realized it was an actual phobia--I just thought I was a bit off (although I suppose that means I am). I completely freak out if anyone touches mine (although I've gotten a lot better at controlling my reaction). I don't touch other people's. I don't look at them. I can't handle references (visible, audible) to them.

People always ask for explanations if they notice (and so I try very hard not to let them). How can I give an explanation when just thinking of the topic--the word--causes me too hyperventilate, clutch the vulnerable bits safely against my body and throw me in a wave of silly anxiety? If people keep trying to explore the topic after I've firmly (or a bit crazily) said that I most certainly don't want to talk about it, sometimes I even cry. STUPID.

I always thought I was the only one. I mean, who else could possibly have such a random, ridiculous phobia?

Apparently, a whole horde of people. I could barely get through their stories--it was as though they crawled into my mind and emotions, spitting out everything for the world to see.

As far as I could gather from internet sources, the phobia name is carpophobia (sometimes spelled karpophobia).

I hear there's a shrink on campus. I sort of want to see if she has any experience dealing with phobias. On the other hand, dealing with it means thinking about it--and thinking about it means the reaction I'm having right now (if only you could see me).

"Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed."
Michael Pritchard

"What are fears but voices airy?
Whispering harm where harm is not.
And deluding the unwary
Till the fatal bolt is shot!"


Your eyes are white
Round drops of snow
Like I drop her name
In casual conversation
Because I hate the way you
“Are you going to banquet?”
As if it means
“Do you have a boyfriend?
And I wonder if the whiteness
Is really blindness
(no, my facebook relationship status is not a joke mr.—fill in the blank—)
But then he asks
And I tell
And the vice president of student services
(don’t I pay your bills?)
Wants me to know that
She knows gasp
That I’m gay
so I pull out my

nod and say
“Yes, ma-am—-we won't act like a couple in public.
No, we won't sit too close.
Of course sex should be kept for marriage”
But I wonder if she realizes that’ll take a move to Iowa
And well
Union College
Isn’t in Iowa.
And I bet
Even in Iowa
the whites of their eyes
Would still be showing.

Astronomy test tomorrow

"It's never too late - in fiction or in life - to revise." Nancy Thayer

"I tried to stop smoking cigarettes by telling myself I just didn’t want to smoke, but I didn’t believe myself." Barbara Kelly

"Whenever I think to quit smoking, I need a cigarette to think." P.K.

"Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain." Unknown

04 November 2009


Haha, this facebook group (parody) is awesome. It reminds me of Questions for Heterosexuals.

So silly: the whole idea that someone can hate true (aka non-destructive, reciprocated) love, in the name of Love (G-d is Love, no?). Seems a bit contradictory to me--then again so does my decision to remain at Union College.

On another note, this website still manages to rock my world.